This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments should be made in the Senate Hall or new Consensus Track pages rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. The result of the debate was Adopt proposed policy. CC7567(talk) 03:50, March 3, 2016 (UTC)
When The Essential Atlas and its Online Companion came out, there was some initial confusion over how to handle star systems named within these two sources. Ultimately, we decided, based on a paraphrased account of what we were told were author Jason Fry's intentions, to treat all systems that were named in Atlas material and referenced nowhere else as conjectural. We reinforced this original policy last year at the May 2015 Mofference.
However, it always seemed that we were doing this backwards, that systems named in the Atlas should instead be considered official unless something gave us reason otherwise. In that original CT, the forum proposer even concedes that he's not certain how trustworthy the paraphrased account of Jason Fry was. So, I recently went to the man himself and asked him about this, and sure enough, he gave us a different explanation for what his intent was for systems listed in Atlas material.
This is the crux of what he told me: You're right: If you need a default, there's no reason that a logically inferred system name shouldn't be treated as official, with the proviso that a different canonical system name might emerge. I definitely didn't intend for Atlas system names from the appendix to be unofficial by default. Official by default would be much closer to the intent.
Fry did confirm his intention that some star systems continue to be treated as conjectural, however, such as those named after space stations and nebulae, and that rogue planets not be considered part of a system. This pretty much matches what we've been doing up to this point: Besides the exceptions you note, rogue planets wouldn't be named that way -- there are a few in the Atlas because they had to go somewhere, which is a nomenclature problem (SYSTEM, again) rather than an assertion that they're part of a star system.
As a further note, he explained this: Off the top of my head, Wookieepedians should also beware of situations where a planet is pretty obviously not the dominant world of its system, but there isn't a dominant world named. Example: "Fred was an airless rock, little noticed by the industrial traffic speeding back and forth from the populated planets closer to its sun." That system isn't going to be called the Fred system officially or unofficially. It'll be the Bob system or the Josephine system or use some name that the description doesn't reveal. However, he went on to say that The Fred case was intended as a hypothetical for consideration in the future. So, there might not actually be any existing cases where this applies at present. Neither he nor I could think of any examples, but it bears noting that this may become an issue at some point with future Appendix expansions.
How to handle this
Based on what Jason Fry has told us, I am proposing we replace our current policy and adopt the following bulleted system, which Fry confirmed matches his intentions for how to treat Atlas systems:
A system is named for ease of reference, with the understanding that nothing listed in the Atlas appendices was intended to override a preexisting name; examples: Azurbani system (listed in the Atlas as Kiffu system) and Drynn system (listed in the Atlas as Kammia system)
A system is named after a space station; nebula; star cluster; rogue planet; or any other non-standard, non-planetary astronomical location; example: Azzameen Station system
Systems named after space stations shall have articles but will be treated as conjectural
Systems named after nebulae, star clusters, rogue planets, etc., shall not have articles. An exception to this rule is any star system that is clearly shown to exist in a source outside of Atlas material, in which case the system will be treated as conjectural; example: Red Nebula system.
The rationale for handling systems named after space stations, nebulae, star clusters, rogue planets, etc., is that space stations are logically confined to a single system, so we can reasonably infer that such systems listed in the Atlas do exist, albeit with conjectural names; whereas things like nebulae and star clusters logically span multiple star systems, so it's nonsensical to have articles asserting individual star systems for such subjects. Rogue planets, naturally, do not belong to a specific star system.
If this proposal passes, appropriate amendments will be added to the Naming policy and Notability policy, and we will begin removing our many Conjecture tags from Atlas system pages, except where noted.
As a final note, I can provide visual confirmation of these discussions I had with Fry for anyone interested in them. Toprawa and Ralltiir (talk) 18:47, February 17, 2016 (UTC)